Bruce's Tips for the Delta Vortex
The big BTE logo (20 inches long) in the center of the wing on my prototype is not included in the kit.
It was a special vinyl graphic, cut by a friend of mine for this particular model. If you simply must
have one for your own delta, contact me and I can help you by providing either the graphic itself, or
a computer file that you can use to get one cut. Any sign shop can do it. In fact, lots of R/C clubs
have a member or two that can do vinyl cutting. Ask around...
The Vortex requires elevon mixing, a very
common function in today's transmitters. For those of you still using "yesterday's" transmitters without elevon
mixing, all is not lost. You can use a simple electronic mixer that plugs into the servo leads in the
model. An inexpensive mixer is available from BTE.
I consider the DV to be a simple, well-proven, super-flying delta wing design. To my thinking, that
makes it a great candidate for you creative types out there to use as the basis for modification and
experimentation. You might want to add a bubble canopy or wingtip rockets (nonfunctional, of
course!) There's lot's of room for retracts. I've even seen it converted into a float plane, and one guy
totally modified it into a flying boat. I love it!
No matter what engine you use, the Delta Vortex typically comes out nose heavy, requiring tail weight
to balance. With all that wing area, some extra weight is virtually undetectable in flight, but some
modelers would rather have their teeth drilled than add dead weight to a plane. What they do is move
two servos from the engine box (steering and throttle) way back in the wing. That allows the fuel tank,
firewall, and engine to move back a couple of inches, usually resulting in a perfectly balanced model.
Use high-quality, ball-bearing servos with at least 50 oz-in. of torque on the elevons. Personally, I'm
more comfortable with digital servos in the 65 to 100 oz.-in. range. Digital servos have extra holding
power at neutral, so they are superior to analog servos in resisting flutter. Servo prices and sizes have dropped so
much in the past few years that it just doesn't make sense to use a borderline servo for anything.
Always land wheels-side down! Okay, you knew that one already. Speaking of landings, the DV does
fantastic nose-high landings, especially if the CG is towards the rear of the balance range shown on
the plans. Even if it takes extra lead in the tail, experiment with moving the CG back to improve your
DV's aerobatic capabilities and its landing characteristics. You'll probably find it's worth the effort
and extra weight.
Do the "Delta Spin". The DV doesn't spin like a normal plane, but it does do a unique kind of pirouette
around a wingtip that normal planes won't do. Start high and approach it like a normal spin. The DV
won't stall, so you have to initiate the spin using control inputs like a full-power snap roll. Slam full
left aileron and rudder, full up, FULL throttle, and hold them there. The DV should settle into a slow,
flat Delta Spin. Sometimes it does it better than other times; the entry seems to make a difference.
Release the controls to recover. I've never had any trouble getting the DV out of this maneuver.
The color trim scheme is very important on a model like this, not just for visibility but for orientation
as well. The first thought typically is to make the top of the model a light color and the bottom dark.
That's okay, but on a cloudy day, the whole model can seem dark. Better yet, use large, distictive,
contrasting colors with different layouts on the top and bottom. The first time you do a few rolls, you'll
be glad you did!
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